Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Vote Labservative!

Great new website http://www.labservative.com/

Our re-election pledges

  • We promise to be dishonest about the spending cuts required to fix the deficit.
  • We promise to spend billions of pounds on like-for-like replacement of nuclear weapons despite Russia and the U.S. reducing their own stockpiles.
  • We promise to saddle students with debt for their university education.
  • We promise to guard our ‘safe seats’ by blocking electoral reform.
  • We promise to protect corrupt MPs from public accountability.
  • We promise to accept funding from Unions and Big Business in exchange for political influence.
  • We promise to make environmental policy an afterthought.

Monday, 29 March 2010

It seems I'm not prejudiced, or am I?

Following my posts on the shenanigans in East Surrey, here and here, I suppose I was not totally shocked to find this story in yesterday's Sunday Times.

DAVID CAMERON was hit by a race row last night after the revelation that disgruntled Tory activists tried to deselect a black parliamentary candidate who is a former Goldman Sachs banker.
Sam Gyimah, 33, an entrepreneur who was chosen to fight the safe seat of East Surrey, has faced smears over his business dealings.
Hmmm, so the real concern of those trying to get rid of him is that he is a dodgy businessman?? I would have thought the Tories might be used to those sorts of people.Thank God it's nothing to do with the fact he is black.
Supporters of Gyimah, who was president of the Oxford Union and is a member of the party’s “A-list” of preferred candidates, claim the deselection attempt was racially motivated. “There is a Taliban tendency in East Surrey,” said a senior Tory from the area. “They lurk in the forests of the North Downs, waiting to fire their missiles. These are the sort of people who start sentences by saying, ‘I’m not racist but . .

I love that imagery, I can just imagine Sally Marks one of the local County Councillors, and one of the other candidates for the seat, in a turban with an AK47.  lol. Her accent is so cut glass you could fashion a couple of decent chandeliers from it!

This is the Private Eye article Mr Gyimah says is "inaccurate"
Will Sam Gyimah, prospective black Tory MP for the safe seat of Surrey East, bring the kind of real-world experience the newly inclusive Tory party craves in its MPs?
The 33 year old former Oxford Union president, CBI entrepreneur of the future and ex Goldman Sachs banker has been the director of three liquidated companies and one that went into receivership.
Clearstone Training & Recruiting and its two heavily insolvent subsidiaries, involved in training HGV lorry drivers, crashed in 2007. Gyimah had been a Clearstone director and shareholder since 2003. Clearstone owed creditors £3.45m; its business was sold for £100,000; unsecured creditors received 1.5p in the pound.
Meanwhile the Resource Connection went into receivership in 2007 owing creditors almost £2m. And another Gyimah company, Workology Net has been warned by Companies House that it will be struck off. Parent Career Ability has accumulated losses of more than £2.5m.
I loved the football manager style quotes at the end of the Times article,
Nick Skellett, chairman of the East Surrey association, said: “Sam Gyimah enjoys the support of the membership of our association.”
A Conservative party spokesman said: “Any suggestion that Sam Gyimah is not a highly rated and popular candidate is absurd.”
So the voters of East Surrey have to make up their minds if their Tory candidate is a not so brilliant businessman or whether he is hated by his own side (or both). Same old Tories......

Probably better  to vote for the local Lib Dem candidate.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Labour's lost, lost Labours

I have little intention of mentioning Labour on this blog. Unfortunately the ridiculous first past the post system (FPTP) that we use for elections in this country means Labour is a total irrelevance in Surrey. At the last County Council elections (2009) Labour came fifth behind UKIP and the Residents' Associations (RA). They have 1 County Councillor out of 80 and of the 500+ Borough and District Councillors in Surrey only 4 are Labour. With none at all in Guildford, Woking, Farnham, Dorking, Leatherhead, Haslemere and so on. Indeed their one County Councillor has agreed to stand down if he wins as parliamentary candidate in Swindon. I don't think there's much danger of that though,Victor, as this is the Tories 57th target seat. So if Victor wins, its unlikely Dave the stud, will become PM.

Victor Agarwal hanging on for dear life.

The other half of my rather pathetic title refers to a pamphlet by the well known political journalist John Kampfner. In it he explains why he left Labour in 2005 to vote Lib Dem and why he is sticking with the Lib Dems in 2010. The pamphlet's called Lost Labours.

"I deserted Labour in 2005 in protest at Iraq in favour of the Liberal Democrats, the only party to oppose the war.
New Labour in office has had one all-consuming purpose: re-election. Since 1997, their every working day was based around the task of prolonging their term of office. It filled in the ideological hollow and justified ever-encroaching authoritarianism and a pandering to the right on criminal justice and other areas of social policy. In contrast, the Liberal Democrat analysis of the failures of the deregulated market has been consistently, and painfully, accurate. Nick Clegg’s tax reform plans, taking four million low paid workers out of tax altogether, are the most redistributive of any party. And the Liberal Democrat approach to criminal justice, human rights, foreign and social policy is close to mine."
There's a shorter version here.

One thing I would say to Labour voters, particularly in Guildford and Woking, why not lend your vote to the Lib Dems this time. We are committed to a fairer voting system which would mean that the many thousands of Labour voters in Surrey would not waste their votes. In Guildford and Woking if those who voted Labour at the last election had voted Lib Dem, then we would have had two fewer Tory MPS.

I will return to the subject of our daft voting system in a later post.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Sick of the puff pieces and the wifelets

I know its raging against the machine but I'm really cheesed off with all these cringe inducing mockumentaries particularly from ITV. First we had weeping Gordon. Then smug, I'm an ordinary guy, Dave. My feelings were summed up by India Knight in yesterday's Sunday Times.
I could write reams about the utter mindless nothingness of Sir Trevor McDonald’s interview with David Cameron last Sunday, but I might get apoplexy. At a later date I hope to return to the extraordinary fact that Cameron, who must have been preparing for weeks, had absolutely nothing of any interest or substance to say. It was amazing to watch — you kept thinking, go on, say something with a bit of heft. But no. And whose idea was it to wheel on the posh ginger bloke to explain that posh people were absolutely tuned in to ordinary life? Couldn’t they find anyone who hadn't been to Eton? Baffling.
I will return to it, but for now I’ll content myself with asking — Trevor McDonald: why? So, he can read an Autocue: jolly good, round of applause. But ITV has brilliant reporters and interviewers and even a couple of authentically grand old men. Why use someone who came across as if they were going to explode with pleasure just at being in Cameron’s company, who chuckled paternally at everything he said, eyes shining with love, who didn’t ask one single even slightly tricky question?
It was like watching Grandpa Werther interview Igglepiggle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so lame.

Last night it was Cleggy's turn. I have no intention of watching any of them. Why couldn't we have somebody grilling all 3 leaders on the major issues of the day, like, I don't know, lets see, THE ECONOMY. It could be intercut with, not cooing snippets from lovely wives, but critique of policies from academics etc. I yearn for some real political debate instead of all this pap.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Promise to get back to posting soon. Doing too much for this bloody election. In the meantime....

Friday, 5 March 2010

Peter Brookes in the Times

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Steve Bell again

Love it.

Michael Gove demonstrates how good Tory education policy is.

Michael Gove, shadow education spokesman and MP for Surrey Heath made a bit of a fool of himself on the Daily Politics yesterday. From the Guardian
Luckily some people can't be bullied. Alas for Tory education shadow Michael Gove, Andrew Neil looks like one of them. "You want to bring in elements of the Swedish school system here?" jabs Andrew lightly on the BBC's Daily Politics show yesterday. Oh yes, agrees Michael. "Why would you want to bring a system which over the last 15 years has plummeted in international league tables in maths and science," says Neil, by way of a right hook. "Well England has plummeted in international league tables," says Gove. "We're still ahead," says the questioner. Ding, ding. It gets worse. "You shouldn't have people in teaching who have third class degrees. You have to have at least a 2.2," says Gove. "So why do you have a maths adviser who has a third-class degree?" counters Neil, referring to Cameroon recruit Carol Vorderman. "Under your proposals she couldn't be a teacher." A straight knockout. Next!
The full interview can be seen here.

The Tories really haven't thought this through at all. Where's the money going to come from?  How do you stop determined parents with an agenda from trying to take over a school? I can see situations where resources are going to be drained from local schools to satisfy some strange Tory agenda, when most of the Tory potential ministers and their kids are safely tucked up in private schools.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Patriots and Scoundrels

Two stories about the Tories in the last 24 hours have really made my blood boil. The first is the cheek of David Cameron saying that it is patriotic to get a Tory government elected. Second and not immediately obviously related is the news that Lord Ashcroft has admitted that he is not paying UK taxes but he will if the Tories are elected! I can hardly type I am so cross!

The two stories are related however as they expose the hypocrisy at the heart of the Tories. Its OK to demonstrate that I love my country by voting for a bunch of old Etonians to run it, but I'd rather not pay the taxes that contribute to the common good thank you very much.

As Dr Johnson said "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." How dare Cameron imply that it is unpatriotic not to vote for the nasty party at the next election. Personally I believe that another Tory government would be disastrous for the country but I wouldn't say it was unpatriotic to vote Conservative. There is of course a (not so) subtle message here. The Tories, by wrapping themselves in the flag are trying to invoke unpleasant as well as pleasant images. Which other party wraps themselves in the flag? Evidence of this was seen last week in some electoral material sent out in the name of that rather unpleasant Tory Andrew Rosindell, a Cameron Home Affairs spokesperson. From the Guardian

David Cameron's Tories were accused last night of dog-whistle politics after the Conservative leader appeared on the front of flyers saying the floodgates had been opened to mass immigration. Critics say the flyers are alarmist and misleading because they imply limits could be imposed on entrants from EU countries such as Poland.
Last night, the party's frontbench was forced to distance itself from the hard-hitting material, which was put out under the name of Cameron's home affairs spokesman, Andrew Rosindell. It bears a picture of both men, says that immigration has caused a population explosion, and declares "we simply cannot go on like this".

As for Ashcroft, well what can you say. Amazingly John Prescott had a good Tweet,
 Voters in marginal seats should remember that money that could have gone to frontline services is paying for Tory leaflets #cashcroft
Chris Huhne pointed out that Belize grows a lot of bananas and Ashcroft has bought the Tory Part like a banana republic.
The Conservatives’ biggest donor is a tax-dodger from Belize who has not paid a penny of British tax on the vast bulk of his estimated £1.1bn fortune held offshore.

“This raises extraordinary questions about the judgement of successive Tory leaders - William Hague, Michael Howard and David Cameron - whose view seems to be that only little people should pay tax.